July 13, 2020 Jo

When Working Too Much Creates Tension in Your Relationship

I had just gotten off the phone with an old friend. She had cried to me and confessed her greatest fear: “What if my husband leaves me for someone with more time for him?”

The words cut me like a knife. I don’t think she’s the only woman to ever feel this way.

There are a lot of things we would never confess to anyone. Being jealous of a friend. Wanting others to look up to- and envy us.  And then there’s the fear that the one we love will find someone better. 

Looking at my friend, it’s hard to imagine her husband finding someone better. She is stunning. I would lie if I said that I have never been jealous of her hair. She is smart. She is educated. She is the one I turn to when I need life advice or just want a giggle. But she is very busy. It is almost as if there isn’t enough of her. 

My friend is childfree by choice. So unlike working parents who have no choice but to change gears into parent mode, childfree women often don’t have that natural stop.

Sadly, she wouldn’t be the first hard working overachiever to be left by a loved one. Relationships take work. They need nurturing like a garden needs water. Above all, relationships need time. But our time is always in demand. 

Childfree entrepreneurs tend to work a lot. In fact – All. The. Time. Every spare moment is taken up by working on- or thinking about the business. In some ways, it makes sense; the business has become “the baby”.

I told my friend what I will tell you now: While it might feel like you HAVE to work all the time in order to make your business fly, what you really need is a shift in your mindset. Instead of thinking about how you can get more done, consider ways to get it done – without you doing it

Two words: DELEGATE and DEFER. 

Most things can wait. Critically examine which urgent tasks absolutely require you, and which ones you can delegate. In the end, your job as the leader of your enterprise, however large or small, is two-fold. To guide others and maintain quality control, since the buck stops with you, since you’re ultimately accountable.

It’s a thrill to see your business grow. However, taking time out to reflect and think about how to work smarter rather than more, really pays off in the end. It is not always easy (which is why you might need a coach), but necessary. Your health and relationships depend on it.

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